Orchid of the Week: Paph. (S Gratrix ‘Scandalous’ HCC/AOS B/CSA x malipoense)

I am very excited about this week’s orchid.  Orchids can take anywhere from 1 to 25 years to bloom depending on the species or hybrids in their background.  I raised this from baby seedling and finally 3 years later it is the first plant from the flask to bloom.  It was worth the wait!!!   The wide petals and striking spots make this one a definite keeper.  Part of the fun with growing orchids is the anticipation of waiting for one to bloom and the excitement when you bloom a high quality flower.  This week I hit both marks and am feeling pretty good.  To learn more about orchids and orchid growing, contact the American Orchid Society.

Required Light:  In the greenhouse I use 50% shade cloth and have it in a spot where it gets mostly morning and afternoon sun but not Midday.  Under artificial lights like our T5 fluorescents I recommend it be 8” underneath at least two 4 foot T5 bulbs.

Temperature: This orchid prefers night-time temperatures to be between 55° F – 65° F.  Daytime temperatures can easily reach the low 90’s without a problem.

Humidity: Best kept at 60% RH or higher.

Required Watering: Depending on environmental factors, once or twice a week under normal conditions.  More waterings are generally necessary when it is hotter in the growing environment.

Fertilizer: Should be applied at ½ to1/4 strength weekly.  I prefer to use the Grow More brand of fertilizers.

Potting: Should be done annually as you see new roots starting to emerge from the base of the newest growth.  I use a mixture of 4 parts coconut husk chips, 2 parts #4 Perlite, and 1 part Hydroton.

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